Day 22 [Wabasso Beach – Melbourne, FL]

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 2014

[Distance traveled: 30 miles]

Happy Friday! Yes, we are safely at my sister’s after a rough 30 miles into the wind all day.

Before I get started here, though, a did want to clarify something. I have been using the phrase, “Help make our Mission Possible POSSIBLE!”…..and many of you have contributed to this “Facing Your Fears” Tour in so many ways, through your prayers, through providing us with ice, through opening up your home to us for a place to stay, and MANY other ways.

And we are SO grateful.

But I did want to clarify, though, that when we talk about contributing to our cause, we are talking about funds that go directly to God’s Hands Agency, and we are NOT talking about funds that go toward these Mission POSSIBLE Tours. These trips are underwritten by Earline and myself, and our jab designs business, and are meant to be an ENCOURAGEMENT for those of you working with us in God’s Hands Agency, and the STRUGGLES that we ALL go through in our daily lives.

Any funds that we are asking you for are going towards the operating budget of God’s Hands Agency for the coming calendar year. We have set a goal of $5,000 for this entire next year, and hope to raise that by the end of December. And we are using our “Go Fund Me” website to collect those funds.

Earline has put together an excellent review of some things that God’s Hands Agency has accomplished in the past year, and when you go to the Go Fund Me site, you can read Earline’s thoughts right there, as well as the Scripture verses, the “lyrics” for all 6 of the Fearless songs! There is a link to Go Fund Me web site on the front page of our God’s Hands Agency web site.

Yesterday I mentioned that as the sun was going down, we were at Wabasso Beach, and were trying to find a place to lay down our head for the night.

Unbeknownst to us, there is hardly ANYTHING at Wabasso Beach [except a great little deli], but no place to stay, except at Sebastian Inlet State Park, which was still 7 miles away, or across the bridge over to Highway 1, ALSO about 7 miles away. What to do?

So at OUR speed, we’re still talking about an hour-and-a-half away.

There did seem to be SOMETHING big to our right….so I stopped at the guard gate to ask for advice, and it turned out to be a Disney Resort – what they call Disney Vero Beach Resort. Miss Diane told us about the lack of any facilities close by, but then she said to hold up, and she would check if they had anything available.

Any they did!

ONE room, a studio apartment for the handicapped, was available. It was not cheap, but our AAA membership provided a $40 discount! How about that! So we decided to take it.

Miss Brenda from the Front Desk met us outside, and you can see her picture in yesterday’s blog.

All we really did was sleep [HA!], but we appreciated the nice place to rest.

We took a quick walk in the morning, and this is indeed a beautiful location.

This was the little porch attached to our room.

Earline on DVB porch

The lodge was huge!

Disney Vero Beach resort

They had a beautiful boardwalk right on the Atlantic.

Me looking at ocean

But as we took these pictures we were freezing! It was colder this morning than yesterday!

[One quick boo-clap here…Disney! Shame on you. In the lobby, 20 feet from the entrance to the breakfast area, you have a hot coffee stand, all pretty and smelling good…..BUT!

There are no cups! Where are the cups?

It turns out that the CUPS cost money – 2 bucks or whatever it was – the CUPS cost money! What? You can’t provide free coffee to your guests? BAD public relations. Even Motel 6 provides free coffee…HEH!]

Okay……one interesting note….I use the term often [and too often FEEL it], that we are ALL going back to the dust. And we are….you KNOW we are.

Whether it is the simple 50-year-old motel, OR this big, fancy Disney resort, ALL show signs of going back to the dust. Even here, the knob on the closest door was loose and almost falling off. The shelf beside the bathroom sink had loose wall anchors on the left hand side, and was tipping dangerously, and the screw for the shower was loose, so that the shower head would not hold up at an angle, but flopped forward, pointing the shower spray at the handle [I fixed that…ha!].

EVERYTHING’s going back to the dust.

And didn’t God make that clear to Adam, that Adam would die, and that death, and disease, and deterioration would be brought into the world because of sin?

And that is EXACTLY what we honestly see all around us.

We had our trikes in the room with us – remember, this was a handicapped room, with wide spaces – and took them by elevator down to the basement. [Only way to ride them in and out!]

Yes do fit in elevator

Oh-oh! This guy doesn’t want Earline to leave!

Earline in fake topiary jaws

After a quick bite at the Wabasso deli, we then bundled up and headed north.

Cold morning Earline on A1A

It was COLD….and the wind was blowing pretty strong in our faces. Brrrrr!

Even EARLINE was wearing her jacket to stay warm!

We hadn’t actually gone too far, but who should we see, but Bob and Fifi from Waldo’s at Vero Beach! It was good to see them, and they had a chance to actually try out our trikes. What fun!

Fifi and Bob on trikes

Most of what we saw again today, though, was this…..straight, flat, and a little monotonous [but nicely manicured shoulders….heh!].

Lot of what we saw

There was a place up by the Sebastian Inlet that you could tell was VERY narrow….maybe only a hundred yards across, from Indian River to the Atlantic. Had some nice views of the river here.

Trikes on wide Indian River

Pelicans

Is the lollipop helping you stay warm?….Ha!

Love that lollipop

Then we saw the bridge over Sebastian Inlet…..hmmmm. Doesn’t look like there’s a bike path. Boo! I guess that is why the sign says to “SHARE THE ROAD.”

SI bridge

Here Earline starts her ascent:

Starting ascent

VERY glad we have these full-sized Slow Moving Vehicle signs….very visible, and familiar.

There was quite a bit of traffic, but during a lull, I was able to get this shot from the top of the bridge:

SI SP view from top

This is what the Inlet looks like over the edge of the railing:

View over edge of railing

You can see people enjoying the view on both sides of the Inlet.

Now for the FUN downhill!

Descent

On the way up to Melbourne Beach, we saw these fun signs:

Biggest turkey

Depressed fisherman

And even this “familiar” sign:

MP sign

YES! The mission IS possible!

And then we had the good fortune to meet Daniel at a local convenience store as we spent a few minutes warming up with coffee and hot chocolate.

Daniel

As you can se, Daniel is a “colorful” fella, and I understand he also does photography. Best wishes on YOUR endeavors, Daniel!

By now, the sun is starting to go down, and it is getting even COLDER….we try to add to our clothes without digging too deep in our panniers.

This is what we came up with.

Sleves in my jacket style

Back side

Yes, that is my jacket, and we slid Earline’s legs into the sleeves…..ha! And it worked!

WHATEVER it takes!

My outfit wasn’t much better….had my rain pants available to cut the effects of the wind, and my hooded sweatshirt helped.

Jon at Sunoco station

I think the only problem, really, was just when Earline went into the convenience store to use the restroom, and she forgot that she had on her “outfit.”

Earline wonder pants

Many “looks” and frivolity….ha! [Someone actually called the cops about these two bikes at the Sunoco station and two strange looking folks hanging around them! Ha!]

Earline getting dark

By now we had been riding over an hour in the dark, and the traffic on A1A was horrible, VERY busy. We eventually went through some neighborhoods over to the Eau Gallie Causeway bridge, but by this time Jyl and Dennis thought it best if they come pick us up….we were still about 8 miles from their house, and almost none of the roads we had to travel had bike lanes or bike paths….not a good idea at night.

[Is this cheating?…no….it is just another example of other folks helping to make our Mission Possible POSSIBLE!] [And no, for you accountants, I did not include those 8 miles in the total….ha!]

Thankfully, Dennis has a big van that held both the trikes.

Thanks Dennis

Thanks, Lord, for helping us to survive this day….thank you for a place to stay to rest and recuperate.

ONLY through God’s grace,

jon

Day 20 [North Ft. Pierce Beach]

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2014

When I poked my head out the door at 8:00 this morning and saw this….

Rain

And then about 30 minutes later it was blowing, and raining even harder…..I guess the bad weather from yesterday in Orlando finally caught up with us, huh!

Windy, and getting colder [okay, COOLER, for you folks up North…ha!]

So…..we made the executive decision to stay in today. Probably needed some rest after going almost 65 miles in the last 2 days.

One quick comment about the goings-on in Ferguson, Missouri. As some of you know, we went through that area on our 2010 Mission POSSIBLE Tour, and had the opportunity to speak a few minutes at a Wednesday night Bible study at the nearby Believer’s Temple Word Fellowship Church where Dr. Calvin Scott is the pastor. These folks were so warm and kind to us, and they had over 100 folks out on a rainy Wednesday night for Bible study! Yea!

We pray for them and for the peace of that whole area.

And I appreciate the wisdom of a tight end from the New Orleans Saints football team, Ben Watson, who wasn’t afraid to tell it, that the bottom line problem in the Ferguson case and its aftermath is SIN. The sin of pride, and big egos, and greed.

Pray that people in that area will allow God to use them to learn from Him, to gain Heavenly Wisdom to combat what satan would use for destruction, and to bring us ALL closer the TRUTH of God’s Word.

Resting up for tomorrow’s ride up A1A [guess the wind won’t be behind us tomorrow, heh!!].

Thanks for ALL of YOUR prayers. We love you.

Through God’s grace,

jon

 

Day 13 [North Hollywood, FL]

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2014

[Distance traveled: 2 miles]

A day to rest Earline’s leg, and a day to do some repairs, and a day to get laundry done. Yea!

When we came in last night it was dark and still drizzling….[okay maybe it was not THAT bad, but some of you up north DO have MUCH snow….be careful!]….

Jon arriving at Kenwood

But this morning we could see better the cute little courtyard here at the Kenwood Motel.

Kenwood courtyard

And in the far right corner of the photo, you can see the washer and dryer. So convenient! Thanks, God.

The room also worked out great for us, because they were nice and big, AND both trikes fit thru the door. That is a BIG plus…otherwise we would have to dismantle the panniers, which is fairly easy on Earline’s trike, but on mine, so so much.

Inside room

[I made sure that I wiped off the tires with a rag before we brought them into the room….we want to be courteous and GRATEFUL for a gift like this room.]

[And honestly, we did not watch a minute of TV….too much to DO!]

Real cool this morning, in the mid 50s, but the forecast is for close to 70 degrees tomorrow, so we’re good!

Tonight we had the opportunity to minister at Elder Elaine’s church, the New Hope Missionary Baptist Church here in North Hollywood where Elder Connail Johnson is the Pastor. [Another plus of the motel is that it was only a mile to the church, so add just 2 miles to our distance traveled. Ha!]

It was a cute little church, and the people were very warm and hospitable. We sensed a spirit of deep love for the Lord, and were impressed with how many young men boldly expressed their love for God. One of the ladies created this beautiful Thanksgiving wreath:

Thanksgiving wreath

When the first young man spoke at the beginning of the service, I had a hard time hearing what he was saying. It might have because of the music they were playing during his talk. Probably my fault, because I am involved in the music ministry at Iglesia Gracia de Dios in Orlando, and one side of my brain was trying to hear the Word, and the other side was saying, “oh, listen to that transition, oh, that was a nice melody, oh, did they just modulate there?, oh, they need to pull pack the mids on that section, and up the highs, oh, that was a nice harmony, oh….etc., etc. ACK!”

They did eventually turn the music down, and that helped….whew!

The young men in the back were able to pull up our blog and put it on the screen in the front of the church. I had never seen that done before with our blog…great!

NHMBC screen

Earline and I then shared a little about our ministry to the Deaf, and why we do these Mission POSSIBLE Tours. Earline also talked a little about Facing Your Fears, including getting your hair trimmed at Supercuts. Sometimes things don’t turn out like we hope….I will let HER explain!

And finally, I taught the congregation Joshua 1:9, the first of the FEARLESS songs. They did great!

Pastor Johnson was home sick tonight, so please pray for his health! Elder Elaine gave Earline the opportunity to interpret the message, then, from Eugenia Bonds, who we found out after the service has a Deaf daughter in Orlando! Small world!

Earline interp Eugenia Bonds

Earline was interpreting for two Deaf ladies [I remember Cora on the right from our Deaf revival last year at Mt. Sinai], and Ernest on the front row, who is learning sign language.

Cora, Ernest and one other deaf lady

After the service, some of the folks had an opportunity to sit down in the trikes and test them out. Here’s Daniel, who loves the Lord, and got married only about 4 MONTHS ago. [Earline, we HAVE to tell them about the GORGEOUS Winshape marriage retreat center up in Mt. Berry, GA. See Day -2.]

Daniel testing trike

Pastor’s wife, “Lady J” WAS at the service, and took a picture with Earline.

Earline and Lady J

Earline, [OF COURSE! Ha!], got a selfie with Elder Elaine and Lady J:

Selfie with EE,EB, and Lady J

But not to be outdone, I ALSO got a selfie with Elder Elaine!

Jon and EE selfie

We are grateful for the opportunity to share our story, and how EACH of us has a special part in the body of Christ where we can thrive and be useful in building up HIS Kingdom.

Only THROUGH GOD’S GRACE,

jon

Day 12 [Miami – North Hollywood, FL]

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2014

[Distance traveled: 24 miles]

What a difference a day makes!

Yesterday we were hot and sweaty, with all kinds of bug bites from the past week of camping [I counted about 20-25 bug bits on each leg….oh, the scratching!]….and then this morning….it started out warm:

Leaving River Front Hotel in dntn Miami

Here, let me zoom out a little bit:

Zoom out

And even as we exited downtown, Earline still had the SouthSport Cool Rag wrapped around her neck that she got from Cousin Vicki.

Leaving Miami SouthSport Cool Rag

[Earline LOVES her Cool Rag!]

BUT….you could tell something was up, because maybe 10 minutes after we set out this morning, the wind switched, and it started to feel a little cooler.

And then a little became a LOT! Specifically, after riding in temperatures around 85° yesterday, the temp today gradually fell to the current temp of 56 tonight here in North Hollywood, FL, a difference of almost 30 degrees. Brrrrrrrrr.

Bundling up:

It got COLD

And it is still drizzling a little. We did not have HEAVY rain today when we were riding, but it drizzled pretty steady, enough for us to have to cover our side bags.

AND we were riding into the wind….so the miserable factor was pretty high.

It gets dark early now, before even 6pm….so we rode in the dark the last hour of our ride. We did find an inexpensive motel that had HUGE rooms, WiFi, and a laundry, so it is perfect for us….just a mile from Hope Baptist Church where we will be giving a short presentation tomorrow.

And now it sounds like it is raining HARD outside…..OOOOOO, glad we missed this! [Earline says that is what she prayed….God is gracious!]

Condos, condos, and more condos everywhere. And lots of construction going on, especially in Miami Beach and North Beach.

Construction

As we were headed out of downtown Miami, we saw these condos:

Condos and covet

But look at the sign at the bottom of the condo on the left:

Thou shalt covet

What in the world??!!

But isn’t that the way sin always starts out? First it is a little rebellious, maybe cute, and funny. Then it becomes a little more serious. And then it is outright defiance.

So now I guess it is cool marketing to come right out and say the opposite of what the God commands.

And isn’t that really Satan’s device all along?

It goes wa-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-ay back to the Garden of Eden. What was the temptation Satan used?

He said, “Did God RE-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-A-L-L-L-L-L-L-L-L-L-L-LY say you shouldn’t eat from any tree in the Garden?”

Getting us to question what God said. God’s Word versus man’s word.

And then, as recorded in Genesis 3, Satan told Eve that “You won’t die,” which was an outright lie. But she bought the lie, and we’ve ALL been dying ever since.

All but two, that is. The Bible records 2 people in all of history that did NOT die. Do you know who they were?

A FREE WiFi Pedaler t-shirt to whoever gets the answer right first!

[And to those of you from 2010 who were promised that they MIGHT get a t-shirt….YES! It is actually going to happen! Whoo-whoo!]

Just respond with a comment to this day’s blog entry, and the first right answer gets the t-shirt.

In Psalm 37, it also says that we aren’t supposed to fret about those who are rebellious towards God, or who are outright defiant and wicked:

“Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes….For the strength of the wicked will be shattered, but the LORD takes care of the godly!”

We did see more evidence of the struggle today:

More evidence of the struggle

And we had our own struggles, having to go over several bridges, including 3 drawbridges:

One of three drawbridges

The last one was when it was dark and drizzling….couldn’t get a good photo.

The Venetian Causeway is how we got from Miami to Miami Beach:

Crossing Venetian Causeway

The ride up A1A was very busy, but slower, because of the construction, business deliveries, residential areas, and even many signs and road markings specifically for bicycles.

A1A

We ran across a 2-story Publix, where we got lunch and a few supplies. This Publix had parking on the first floor, and the store was up on the 2nd floor. They also had an innovative way of getting your grocery cart down to the first floor.

2-story Publix

Again, condos, condos, condos everywhere. Many Trump Tower condos. And these Oceania Island Towers.

Oceania Island

And there was a whole row of houses to our right in Golden Beach, oceanfront homes, that sometimes had the front gate open where we could see in….whoa!

Beautiful home example

Continue to please pray for Earline’s health….her knee seems a little stronger, but it still gives her a lot of pain by the end of the day. And then today she has been experiencing a lot of stomach problems.

God – you know our needs, even BEFORE we ask them. Thanks for Your provision, and YOUR faithfulness to our well-being. Again from Psalm 37, You promised:

“He [God] DELIGHTS in every detail of their [good men’s] lives.” [v. 23]

And DO pray for our short presentation tomorrow night at Hope Baptist here in North Hollywood. This is Elder Elaine’s church, who is a certified interpreter and works with many Deaf down in this area.

Can’t let you go without showing a picture of Mr. “Don’t talk to strangers!” Dennis.

Infamous Mr. Dennis

We had a delightful conversation with him at a bus stop in Sunny Isles. He asked many questions, and seem to quickly grasp what this Mission POSSIBLE Tour is all about. He works right now as a part-time private chauffeur, and recently shaved off his full beard. He was a hoot! Pray for him and his endeavors.

TGG,

jon

Day 5 [Bostwick Post Office – Orange Park]

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 2011 [Happy Thanksgiving!]

We were very grateful for the secure place to stay last night, and got up with the sun this morning. But it got COOL last night, and in the shade it had to be in the lower 50s, upper 40s [kinda reminded me of Northern Minnesota in June….the coolness and the expanse of trees.] Take a look:

Cold Thanksgiving morning

At least it was flat!

On the road to Green Cove Springs

We went past this interesting sign….do you know anything about these “Old Regular Baptists?”

Little Ruth Church sign

In Green Cove Springs saw this real pretty view of the the St. Johns River right next to the Elks Club:

St Johns River from Green Cove Springs

Heading out on 209, there was no shoulder, and fairly heavy traffic, I thought, ESPECIALLY for a holiday, but there WERE more really pretty scenes along the road on this truly GORGEOUS day!

Row of tall trees

Finally made it to Earline’s brother’s house around 3pm. Parked IN the garage [oooo].

Arrive 3pm in the garage

Thanks again, Lord, for a pretty day for a ride, and the safe completion of the first leg of our journey. Make this a blessed time of fellowship with AC and Lynda, and prepare our hearts for our time with Ephphatha Deaf Assembly of God in Jacksonville, and the time with the students of FSDB on Wednesday.

[I created a song about vultures for the kids…..it’s fun!]

TGG,

jon

Day 54 [Valmeyer, IL – cornfield by Modoc Ferry, IL]

SATURDAY, JULY 24, 2010

My “owl” was singing away this morning, loud enough that I think I WAS able to get an audio recording of it. [It is soft, but you can listen to it here.]

While setting up last night, we had moved a bench over by the doorway….and apparently a spider saw that as an opportunity to build a web. Now, I do NOT like spiders, and I strongly dislike giving human intelligence to the “animal/insect/sponges” kingdom. These are all creatures of God’s designs and creation, and show HIS ingenuity and character.

But I still HAVE to appreciate the instinctive industrious-ness exhibited by something God designed…this bench was moved in this position about 9pm, and this web was finished before 6am:

Spider web

Officer Chandler stopped by to check on us, and I got his picture (thanks, Officer Mike!):

Officer Mike

It is hot out today, but these donkey’s didn’t seem to mind the heat!

Donkeys

Saw lots of grain bins….storage and drying facilities….and lots of Pioneer seedcorn fields (my dad used to sell Pioneer seedcorn):

Grain bins

Pioneer fields

Corn and bluff

We saw this little house SURROUNDED by flowers, and marveled at the work and care that went into maintaining all this beauty:

Pretty garden house

It was SO hot today. And it was in the middle of all this heat that we experienced one of the most pleasant surprises of the trip.

We were pedaling along, trying to make progress in the heat, when all of a sudden, between some trees on our left and corn on our right, we felt…..coolness!

Huh??!!

Where is this coming from?

After some exploring, we found this cave behind and above the trees on our left. And there was some COOL AIR coming FROM the caves, spilling out on to the roadway! These caves (I understand many of them used to be salt mines) were very interesting:

Bluff cave

Cool cave

And then there was another one, and another one….and the temperature coming from the caves was wonderful….I’m guessing, maybe 65 degrees, on 100 degree day….the relief it provided was incredible! Earline had to get a closer look….AND FEEL!

Earline and THE cave

Earline and THE cave close1

Earline also at this same time, had her prayer answered about a butterfly alighting on her arm. It is like God was saying, “I’ve got this…I know it is hot out here….here’s a little coolness for your day, an oasis of cool in the middle of all the heat!”

Butterfly on Earline

We stopped in Prairie du Rocher, and got some supplies at a small grocery there. Met John, the tri-athlete, who was also biking in the heat…he shared his left-over ice with us. Thanks, John!

There was a disagreement among the locals as to whether the ferry was open….the general agreement was that IF it WAS closed, they put up a sign saying so at the turnoff to the ferry. So after going about 4 miles, we saw the turn-off to the ferry, and there was NO sign, so we headed down the 4 mile road to it.

Well….

Sometimes the street committee gets things right, and sometimes they don’t.

When we arrived at the area from which the ferry departs for St. Genevieve, Missouri, this is what we found (the road for the cars is to the LEFT of the two timbers):

Road to ferry

And another view of the road to the ferry (I know….because I was walking on it):

Road to ferry2

And one more view of the road, that takes you right up to the ferry…..that is, IF the ferry is docked on this side of the river….

Road to ferry3

….instead of on THE OTHER side of the river, safely in St. Genevieve, while the dock that these plants sit on, on THIS side of the river is, sadly, under water.

The Modoc ferry in St G

Okay….so now I’m walking back on the road to give Earline the news….

Walk back to Earline

And she takes a picture of me walking back to her….to give her the news….

Walking back to earline

Ack…..back the way we came, along the railroad track, beside the road that’s covered with water, back past the cornfields and….

PSSSSSSTF!

Yup….

Flat tire….Earline examines the scene of the crime….

Flat tire on ferry road

After we fixed the flat, it’s time to set up camp….and it looks like there’s a cloud bank coming up in the northwest…..

Torin, this is when you called, during the ALMOST full moon….setting up our tent next to a cornfield!

Cornfield camping with Jon

Thank God in ALL situations…right?….Right??!!

TGG,

jon

Day 25 [Brownsville, MN – Waterville & Monona, IA]

FRIDAY, JUNE 25, 2010

Woke up close to river, with tugboats pushing their barges up and down the river.

Wildcat Landing Campground2

Barge beside Wildcat

We slept in until 8:30 (but Earline says that isn’t sleeping in when you don’t go to bed until 3am!!) Well…..maybe…..

We stayed next to a neat family there on an annual trip to this area. Here is James Kammes and his son Kaden, getting prepped for some fishing:

James Kammes and Kaden

And here is Grandpa Bob, giving Kaden some sage advice on the finer points of catching the BIG ONE:

Grandpa Bob and Kaden

Also camped next to us on the west side was Dr. Terry and his wife Michelle. Not only was he excited about our long trek down the river and his own vintage bicycle, but he noticed Earline’s scar and asked about it….apparently he specializes in open heart surgeries, and using technologies that make such surgeries less intrusive.

Terry and Michelle

Again headed south went through some more great scenery, and the last of our trip through Minnesota:

On the road in SE MN

But now, it’s time for a NEW state….one familiar to me….IOWA!

Look another state

Thank you, “Vanna!”

It looks like it gets cold in the winter time in Iowa, too. [Like I don’t know….why do you think I moved to FLORIDA!] Check out THIS stack of firewood:

Gets cold even in northern Iowa LOGS

When we got to New Albin, I had $2 in my pocket, but we soon discovered that it was a special promotional day put on by the local bank….free BEER and BRAT! (root beer) Thank you, God!

Festival in New Albin

And we even got free entertainment – the Good Friends Trio out of Decorah, Iowa.

Good Friends Trio from Decorah

Full of brats and beer, we continued on our way….gotta make it to Monona by tonight!

We had been seeing these large white worms in the fields the past few weeks, but we finally saw how they were created:

Wrapping big round bales in white cocoon

The wheel on the platform kept turning around, as the white wrap encircled each bale, with the farmer loading another bale just in time to connect it to the previous bale. And now you have protected feed for the cattle without the expense of a building. Interesting!

In Lansing, because the day was getting away from us, we made a decision to make an adjustment to a more direct route, with help from a guy named Jon as well as Allie in the convenience store there. Because our cell phones were not working, they let us make a call to Uncle Danny and Aunt Joanita to let them know that we were close and not to worry! Allie had lost hearing in one ear, and expressed an interest in sign language. Be sure to check out th resources at www.godshandsagency.com

Wave hi, Allie!

Allie and Jon

Headed southwest of Lansing, up the Lansing hill towards Waterville, and on to Monona.

Here is an aerial view of our route out of Lansing:

Aerial view of our route south of Lansing

The climb was very steep going up from Lansing, and the traffic was heavy, making our progress slow. We even saw some deer on the right hand side headed up the hill. We could also see lightning in the distance ahead of us…oh, no!

[THE FOLLOWING TEXT IS FROM AN UPDATE I SENT FROM MY BLACKBERRY AT 11:30PM, FRIDAY NIGHT. -jon]

Just wanted to let everyone know we arrived safely at Danny and Joanita’s in Monona about 10:30 tonight, thanks to some special angels from Waterville named Tim and Kristin.

Tim and Kristin

Kristin said they had seen us passing by when they were in their boat on the river. Then when headed home with their boat, they passed us on the road.

They knew about an oncoming storm that we didn’t know about. From their home, Kristin was so convicted about our plight, that she told her husband that they needed to find us.

So they actually came looking for us with their pickup.

Did all of you who are praying for us understand what we said?

They came LOOKING for us.

The Spirit of God Himself convicted Kristin to such a point that she urged Tim to go out into a gathering storm to find us.

They picked us up outside of Waterville, Tim helped me load the fully-loaded trikes on to their pickup, and they DROVE us all the way to Monona as the lightning flashed all around us.

Awesome! Simply an awesome God we serve, because He continues to bring people like Tim and Kristin into our lives. All of you together (and you KNOW who you are) have helped to make this Mission Possible Tour POSSIBLE.

What is God doing in YOUR life?

With God, it is absolutely true that ALL things are possible. [from Matthew 19:26]

TGG,

jon

Sent wirelessly via BlackBerry from T-Mobile.

P.S. Danny and Joanita were happy to see us!

Dan and Joanita

 

Day 12 [St. Cloud (Foley), MN]

JUNE 12, 2010

Spent most of this cold, rainy, Saturday indoors (yea!) at the local McDonalds in Foley, and worked on route planning and blogging, as we stayed another night with the Dillman family.

Outside Mcdonalds rainy Day12

The folks at McDonalds were great, very hospitable (and I loved the hot chocolate!). Here’s Jeff and the crew:

Jerry and crew

WHOOPS! Where’s Katie? AH-H-H-H, found her….in the drive thru!

Katie in drivethru

Met several couples there for a wedding – 3 generations! (grandpa said he doesn’t normally dress up like this!). Also met a couple guys who were interested in our outreach to the Deaf, and they even donated some cash money for our non-profit! Thank you so MUCH….it’s generosity like that that makes this trip and our ministry to the Deaf community possible….without folks like you, we could not do it. Thanks again.

After we finished a bunch of work, we headed back to the Dillman ranch, and let the crew there experience riding on the trikes….much fun and giggles:

All the kids taking a turn

Here’s all the girls (Trinity, Tiffany, Earline, and Tabitha), as well as Titus:

The girls and Titus

Speaking of – I don’t think I have a photo of THOMAS…..HERE he is (along with Titus):

Thomas and Titus

Then we loaded up the trikes on the Dillman trailer, and Mitch drove us over to a Fairfield in town, to get ready for the next two days, and Mpls. this week:

Loaded up in trailer

Yes, Thomas and Judy, we already made use of your generosity….and it was greatly appreciated! Which brings me to the WiFi Moment of the day:

In Mark 6:7, Jesus sent out the disciples by two, taking nothing with them except their clothes and sandals. No food, no traveling bag, no money, not even an extra coat! (now THAT is faith, huh??!!)

But then, a little later in the chapter, starting at verse 30, when the disciples got back from their ministry, Jesus told them, “Let’s get away from the crowds for a while and rest.” Sometimes there were so many people coming and going, Jesus and His apostles didn’t even have time to eat! (Of course, right after this comes the feeding of the 5,000 men, plus women and children. God WILL supply!)

To those of you who are also in ministry….are you getting YOUR proper rest?

Jesus instructed his disciples to “remove themselves from the action” so that they could get some rest. Psalm 127, verse 2 says that “God wants His loved ones to get their proper rest.”

So GET SOME REST. We have, and we’e ready to head to Minneapolis, 6:00 in the morning.

Please continue to pray for us, that God will take us to the specific people He wants us to minister to.

THANK YOU!

TGG,

jon

Day 10 [Brainerd, MN – St. Cloud (Foley), MN]

JUNE 10, 2010

(Oops, I forgot to mention to mention, that on Day 8 we saw TWO Dairy Queens on the ride, bring the total up to 4 – Bemidji, Grand Rapids, Aitkin, and Crosby. We heard there was also one in Brainerd, but we did not see it on our route.)

(See how I blogged the important stuff done up front….HA!)

3:30am came EARLY (I guess it doesn’t have any choice!) and after cleaning up and having a WONDERFUL breakfast (okay, minus the raisins), we got packed up with the radar AGAIN showing rain headed our way!

Saw another “red sky at morning” (doesn’t anybody know where that verse is found??? A T-Shirt is WAITING to be claimed!) (see Day 8).

Andy and Sue
Andy and Sue front of red sky

Covered up everything to make it rain-proof, said our VERY grateful good-byes, and headed out about 5:30am.

It was light already (longer days up here), and it was drizzling, but look at the gift we received at the Brainerd water tower….a rainbow!

Rainbow in Brainerd

Yesterday Andy had taken me out to see if we could figure Bob’s instructions for the MRT in Brainerd. Andy is an avid biker himself, and couldn’t quite follow what the book said. We found the bicycle trail that went in front of Walmart, and how it winds around a little before coming to the bridge over the Mississippi on the 371 by-pass (the new 371).

The trail actually goes under road at the north end of the bridge, does a left-hand cloverleaf loop to the bridge, and connects to a separated pedestrian/bicycle trail that goes north/south along the east side of the bridge.

Then at the south end, it loops to the left again, and goes UNDER the road to the southwest corner of the bridge. It ends right at the edge of the bridge. There is a dirt path that continues south a little bit, and as Bob mentions in his book, there are plans to extend it all the way to Crow Wing State Park, about 15 miles away. [But not yet!]

Bob suggests then climbing up the road bank, and heading south on the 371 by-pass.

Here is the bridge that I crossed (but not on my trike, so I’ll call it Bridge #16.5):

Bike trail on bridge 16point5

Because of the steep climb up the grassy slope, which would be harder on the recumbents to push, and because of the rain that was already starting to fall, and knowing that the dirt path end would be messy, we decided to head straight south on the old 371 out of town, a distance of about 7 miles (not 3, Andy….you kind of estimate your mileage like I do….“it’s just a little ways further”…HA!)

We saw 2 deer on the way out of town. They thought about retreating to the woods, but then just stood there and watched us go by in the rain (thinking “who in the world are THESE crazy folks!”).

Had rain off and on most of the day. The wind and the cold really made it a miserable ride.

We went past the Minnesota Veterans Cemetery:

MN state veterans cemetery

Veterans cemetery tombstones

This was also right next to our busy, NARROW Bridge #17:

Bridge17

It was a little hairy getting across this….MUCH traffic. We just had to assert ourselves and say, “Here we go!”….and the 4-wheeled folks will just have to be patient behind us.

Just on the other side of the bridge was Camp Ripley, a 53,000 acre state-owned base that serves as a world-class military training center for all branches and components of service, just north of Little Falls.

And yes, it was STILL drizzling.

Damp outside veterans cemtery

We stopped in Little Falls and had a DELIGHTFUL lunch at the Royal Family Diner….one of the BEST meals we have EVER had!!!!

They came out with a coffee drink for Earline and hot chocolate for me that were in HUGE mugs, so big you could hardly put your hands around them (GREAT for warming cold hands). They had a sirloin steak buffet for only $6.99, with FRESH veggies and home-made bread. What a blessing!

After that, we continued on past the Charles Lindbergh State Park (it was clean, but empty – no people, no staff….it appears again that the tight economy has eliminated PEOPLE jobs.)

The road to St. Cloud was slightly rolling, low traffic, and could have been a nice ride, except for the rain and the cold. This is mostly rural Minnesota here, with lots of evidence of the agricultural business in action:

A barn with a covering for railing and pulleys that lift with forks the hay off the wagons

Barn with overhang

Some beautiful, but curious horses….ah, recumbent WHAT??!!

Curious horses

Loading corn from a bin on to a wagon – this brought back memories!

Loading corn

LOOK! Another manure spreader (must be a fad). I am calling this phenomenon: Farm Implement Lawn Ornament, or FILO.

ANOTHER manure spreader

Saw several glimpses of the Mississippi on the left. Saw beautiful homes north of Sartell overlooking the river, and it was obvious that the lawns were LOVING the rain.

Nice house north of Sartell

FINALLY got to Whitney Park, and the softball fields, where we knew the game was being held, and saw FIFTY other softball fields and games! It’s about 8:30….gotta hurry up and find them, cuz it will be dark pretty soon. So, which one?

We started driving around the loop, looking, looking, looking, for signing hands, and….AT LAST!

Total time on the trikes today, about 14 hours. Total mileage covered (in the rain, against the wind): 85 miles (whoo-whoo!).

Talked with several of the Deaf who were there, and got some good insights about the local Deaf community.

Shukri (from Kenya) who is Deaf, and Earline

Shukri and Earline

Brandi and Earline (our contact through our stay with Brenda and Miles in Bemidji)

Brandi and Earline

Brandi’s baby girl (and proud Brenda’s grandbaby!)

Brandis girl Brendas granddaughter

Mitch (who is Deaf) graciously offered to let us stay at his house (yes, ladies, he texted his wife FIRST to get the okay!) AND they already have 6 children at home, with another one on the way. AND they live in an old church (our second night in a church in 3 days!) Here are some photos of their family:

Mitch’s dad (who is Deaf), Earline and Mitch (who is Deaf)

Mitchs dad Earline and Mitch

Mitch’s dad, Jon, and Mitch

Mitchs dad Jon and Mitch

Timothy and Trinity

Timothy and Trinity

Tiffany and Tabatha

Tiffany and Tabatha

We will stay in St. Cloud this weekend to look for ministry opportunities (AND get some much needed rest).

TGG,

jon

Day 8 [Palisade, MN – Crosby, MN]

JUNE 8, 2010

The day started out with a pretty red sky, but went downhill from there (and this was NOT the good kind of downhill.)

Rainy and cold. COLD…..maybe 50 degrees, 55…..this is not fun.

We put our food UP in the air last night, per our raccoon experience a few nights ago. (see the Mississippi in the background?)

Food up in the air

Earline was mad at me when yesterday I told her we had an easy day today, and this morning I told her it was about 35 miles. I guess “easy” and “35” don’t go together. Hmmmm. Easy and 20….okay….but NOT easy and 35 (it ended up being 42….whoops).

Here’s a railroad bridge we saw a picture of in Bob’s book:

Railroad bridge from Bergland CG

And here Bridge #15 for us over the Mississippi:

Bridge15

Technically, we did go over this bridge over the MR, but we then turned around and went a different direction because of the info we received from the local county highway department. IF we had proceeded on the Great River Road, it would have knocked 5 to 7 miles off our journey, but at this point it is not yet paved, and with all the rain this morning, I am sure it was impassable.

We did then make a stop at an eating place, on the north side of the road back in Palisade, before heading out of town (Earline, can you remember the name?) Here’s Sue (the cook), Zanna (the waitress), and Earline:

Sue and Zanna in Palisade

The few people that were in the place gave Earline a long look when she first went into the place by herself. [Not many Black folks in this area?] But after I came in behind, they all seemed to “calm down.” Ha!

Sue and Zanna were both warm and friendly, and the food was good. Besides cooking, Sue also takes care of her very sick daughter full time. AND Sue has a neighbor who is Deaf….but who never really had a job, or the ability to communicate effectively with those around her. Now around 40 years old, the Deaf lady takes care of her aging mother.

Growing up on a dairy farm in Iowa, I always thought cows were stupid, standing out in the rain….now I realize, it was the other way around, as we passed a group of cows standing under a tree, watching US pedal by in the rain!

Cows watching us in rain

Bridge #16 (does Earline look happy?……)

Bridge16

The Walmart bags over our side bags actually did a pretty good job keeping the contents dry:

Walmart plastic onside bags

This is the scene I saw most of the day [oh, joy]:

Rainy behind

Again, we stayed on 169 because 10 was still gravel between the campground and 169, Hwy. 21 is still gravel, AND the bridge is out on 1. Got many wet kisses from semi trucks as they whooshed by!

FINALLY stopped raining around 7, and saw some pretty scenes…..this is a golf course outside of Deer River:

Golf course in Deer River

Can’t we ALL just put on a happy face?

Dental office window in Deer River

Finally got to our destination, where….well, we will tell you all about this interesting stop tomorrow!

Nordic Inn inside1

Only Through God’s Grace…..

jon